jan 22/RUN

5.8 miles
the flats and back
26 degrees

(added a few hours later): I almost forgot to mention that this entry is my 2000th post. Not every single one of these entries is about a run, but most of them are. Wow. When I started this project to document marathon training in 2017, I had no idea where it might lead! So happy I’m still here writing and running and noticing!

Hooray for warm (but not too warm) mornings and clear paths and flying geese and frozen rivers and runners in electric blue running tights and frozen seeps and weeping springs and brief visits from shadows and squirrels that don’t dart and not slipping on the few spots where there was snow and chirping birds and laughing woodpeckers and clicking blue jay jaws and running down hills then walking back up them and winter playlists and legs and lungs and hearts that work!

A good run. Before the run, I had a brief wave of anxiety — not for any reason. It just came on all of a sudden — feeling strange, tingly, finding it a littler harder to breathe. Peri-menopause and messed-up hormones, I’ve decided. Running helped, partly because moving always helps and partly because I told myself that I wouldn’t be able to run at a 9:30 pace for so long if something was really wrong with me.

I wasn’t sure how far I’d run this morning, but when I got to the bottom of the franklin hill I had an idea: run until you reach a frozen seep. So I did, which made my run a little longer than usual. What a seep! And falling water from a spring. I thought about crossing the road to get closer to the seep, but there’s no curb and the road isn’t that wide and cars drive faster here then they should, so I didn’t. Instead I took some video from the edge of the trail and then I stood still and marveled at the falling and frozen water, and then the height of the bluff.

frozen seep / weeping spring / 22 jan 2024

After the seep, I ran again until I reached the bottom of the franklin hill, then walked up while I recited ideas for a new poem about the idea of not-seeing. One connection to windows: not seeing a window (or glass) and bumping into it. I’ve read several poems that feature birds who run right into the glass and are dazed. Are there any poems about people? I suppose people mostly (always?) run into glass doors not windows. I’ve done it at least once, while I was studying abroad in Japan. The worst thing about running into glass is the grease smudge your face leaves on the glass. It just stays there, staring at you, embarrassing you — not just because it’s evidence that you ran into the glass, but that your face is greasy.

I’m wondering now: what are the most embarrassing things to not see?

Here’s a poem I found from poem-of-the-day that I’d like to remember.

Arequipa/ Ben Okri

Leaves that fall.
Ought to breed
Fire from stone.
The world counts
On our fall.
Our solitude interests
The butterflies
And the lost gold
Of the afternoons.

Ochre and blue walls
And the fading peaks
Of volcanoes
And the sunlight
Plummeting beyond
The hills waken
Leaves to their
Lost trees.

To discover
You still have
A world
To make
At sunset
The stones.

Love the brevity of this poem and the double-meaning of the first line: leaves from that fall and leaves that fall down. Arequipa is the second largest city in Peru (south of Lima, slightly inland — 100km from the coast).